Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Virtual Book Tour: Shadows Fall by JK Hogan (Excerpt, ARC Review + Giveaway+Author Interview)

Author Name: J.K.  Hogan

Book Name: Shadows Fall

Release Date: June 10, 2015

A gift—or curse—gives Titus McGinty the unwanted ability to talk to ghosts. When he starts seeing the same few apparitions repeatedly, appearing with similar gruesome injuries, he begins to wonder what they want from him.

Detective Charlie Hale has a serial killer on his hands. On the loose for weeks, the Queen City Slayer has left the police nothing to go on, no forensic evidence other than what he wants found. The city is running out of time.

The crisis brings Titus and Charlie together—Titus stumbles upon a body and finds himself a suspect. Their budding romance is tested as they are sucked into a web of underground laboratories, restive spirits, and religious fanaticism. They’ll have to work together to find the identity of the killer before he takes his next victim…Titus.

Pages or Words: 102,000 words

Categories:  Contemporary, Crime Fiction, Fiction, Gay Fiction, Romance, Thriller

I always hated walking home alone at night on the deserted city streets. But I couldn’t ask my employees to do something I was scared to do myself, so I’d taken the late shift. In the dark, the wandering dead became nothing but sliding shadows and hissing whispers. The phrase 'jumping at shadows' is apt, because there were things in the shadows.
Those things slithered around me, feeling much more insidious in the murky stillness of the nighttime city. Hands in my pockets, I gripped my four inch pocket knife that I always carried. Fat lot of good it would do me against mule, but there was a killer on the loose after all.
It was ill-advised, but I still blasted my music inside my headphones. I didn't want to hear what the spirits had to say in gloam. I mostly kept my eyes glued to the sidewalk in front of me—don't stand out, don't make eye contact, make yourself invisible—but I cast glances all around my periphery to keep aware of my surroundings.
A tall, skinny man approached, heading toward me on the opposite side of the sidewalk. He wore dark jeans and a black hoodie with the hood pulled up, casting his face in shadow. I found that odd, as it was one of those warm, humid nights the Southern springtime was famous for. His dark eyes glittered at me from the empty void where his face should be, obviously a trick of the poor lighting.
As he passed me, he clipped my shoulder, throwing me off balance. I wanted to turn around and yell, but self-preservation intervened. I could probably take him in hand-to-hand, but he could be packing for all I knew. I put my head down and kept walking.
I yelped when a spirit appeared in front of me—unlike what movies and television showed, they didn’t usually just pop up. He was a young man, probably about my age, with pale skin, black hair, and eyes so blue they seemed otherworldly… and he was gorgeous. I blinked, hoping he’d disappear. No such luck.
He turned his head towards the building beside us that was being renovated, the entrance to which was blocked off with caution tape. Stretching out his left arm, he pointed to it, and I could see bone-deep gouges in his wrist and forearm. He glanced at me again. Look.
“Not tonight, okay?” I mumbled, trying to step around him. In the blink of an eye, he disappeared and rematerialized right in front of me. See!
“No,” I said, getting angry. I walked straight through him. Usually when I passed through a spirit, I just felt a slick, oily cold sliding through my body—but this burned like a vat of acid had been dumped over me. I screamed and fell to my knees.
He appeared in front of me again. As I looked up at him, still reeling from the pain, it occurred to me how new he must be. When a mulo first left its body, it still maintained some measure of its humanity. It was able to take and maintain a corporeal form more easily than the older spirits, and the ability faded with each day since its passing.
He pointed again and this time, his eyes took on a pleading quality. I could practically feel his anguish.
Struggling to my feet, I brushed myself off and sighed. “Fine, I’ll look. But then you need to leave me the hell alone. I ducked under the caution tape strung across the doorless entry of the run-down building. It was almost pitch black inside, but I got a vague sense of sawhorses and scaffolds. Tip-toeing for some inconceivable reason, I made my way into some kind of vestibule or foyer. I didn’t notice anything that this mulo would be so desperate for me to see, but I couldn’t really see much at all.
My foot hit something solid and I was afraid to go any further into the dark. Who knew what kind of hazards were strewn about the construction site. I dug out my iPhone and swiped it to turn on the flashlight app. A bright light shone out of the camera flash and illuminated the dusty room in front of me—and the man lying all too still on the floor.
I screamed for the second time in five minutes, stumbled back against a plastic-draped scaffolding and dropped my phone. I assumed it landed screen up, because the room was suddenly plunged back into darkness. With my skin crawling, I felt around on the floor for the hard case. Instead, I grabbed a cold leg.
“Holy God!” I shouted, scrambling backwards and sideways until my back hit a wall. My pulse pounded and my head was spinning with the urge to pass the fuck out, either from fright or hyperventilation. My muscles were on lockdown, frozen into that gray area between fight-or-flight, but I knew I had to find my phone so I could get the hell out of there.
And the body… I’d have to call someone. I poked around with the toe of my shoe, carefully avoiding the area of blackness where I thought the body was. Finally I felt the phone. I dragged it across the floor with my foot until I was able to pick it up. Everything was illuminated once again. “Oh thank God,” I said.
But once there was light, I could see him again. His head was turned to face away from me, but I knew that it was the guy from outside. Obviously he’d wanted me to find his body. It was laid out like a sacrifice, arms stretched out to reveal the deep cuts on his arms. I shivered. My brain was finally catching up to the situation, and I realized it was entirely possible that the killer could still be here.
I quickly got to my feet and lurched toward the dim light pooling at the doorway. As soon as I was out of there, I pressed my back up against the cool façade of the building and panted to catch my breath. I see the dead all the time, but I’d never actually seen a dead body before. I wasn’t sure what to do; the only thing I could think was call Charlie.
With shaking hands, I pulled up his number on my phone—I may have entered it from the business card he gave me after chasing Jay out of the shop. I pressed send and he picked up on the first ring.
“Who’s this?”
“Titus.” My voice was shaking and I was embarrassingly close to tears. “I need help.”
“Tell me where you are and I’ll be right there.”
I rattled off my general location, already soothed by the sound of his voice, the confidence in it. “Please hurry,” I said.
“Stay put, I’m on my way.”

Tracy's Review:

5 Stars

*copy provided to Bayou Book Junkie by author/publisher via Pride Promotions in exchange for an honest review*

Detective Charlie Hale is investigating a string of murders, that he thinks have been committed by a serial killer. He meets Titus when he visits the coffee shop Titus owns. Titus is a chovihanohe sees the dead. Outcast from his family, of gypsy's at 17, when it was discovered he was gay, he has never learned how to properly use or control his abilities. He tries to ignore the spirits, but there are a few that have been hanging around that really want his attention. They are insistent he pay attention to them. 

Charlie and Titus are attracted to one another, but Charlie is deep in the closet. After becoming a regular customer they eventually take the relationship further, but when a spirit leads Titus to stumble upon one of Charlie's victims, will he quickly become a suspect.  

I loved this story. It moved at a good pace and kept me sitting on the edge of my seat. It contained all the things I love in a book. It had a mystery to solve, some sitting on the edge of your seat action and suspense, some laugh out loud moments, some sweetness and even some smoking hot sex scenes. The main characters had a good chemistry and the secondary characters were all well developed. Riot and Hester especially felt like a part of the story, and not just an afterthought or part of the background. 

I honestly had a hard time putting this book down. This isn't a short book and I sped through in less than 24 hours. My only complaints are, some of the terminology for Titus' ability was hard to comprehend, and at times I felt lost. But I understood enough to know what was happening. 

We get a HFN, ending, and some things are left unresolved, but the end has a question mark, so I am not removing any stars. I'm giving the author the benefit of the doubt, that things will be more properly wrapped up in a sequel. I look forward to more of Charlie and Titus in the future. This is my first book by this author, but I'll definitely be checking out more in the future! 

­­Interviewing the Author:

This book sounds really good, and I'm looking forward to reading it. I love a good mystery/suspense book!

1) What inspired you to write this book?

With this book, the main character, Titus, came first. I started hearing his voice and he was telling me he could see ghosts. At first, I thought: that’s been done a million times. But he kept poking at me, so I built a story around him and I think I managed to create something new with that idea. I decided to set it in my home city, something I’ve never done before, so my son and I spent a lot of time walking through the city to research locations. It was fun!

2) What qualities do you like most about each of these characters?

I love Titus’s confidence. He’s out and proud, and he took what he had and built something for himself, despite a shitty upbringing, but he still honors where he came from.

Charlie…well first of all, there’s the hot cop thing, which is always a plus for me! I love Charlie’s dedication to being a cop, and trying to do good even when it looks like he can’t make a difference at all.

3) What was the most difficult part of writing this book?

Research. Research. Research. Among its many categories, Shadows Fall is a police procedural. I’ve had cops in my stories before, but the plot wasn’t centered around their jobs so I didn’t go into too much detail. This book is about Charlie chasing a serial killer. There are crime scenes and autopsies and poisons. I wanted everything to be accurate so I did a ton of research. I even watched a few autopsies. Good thing I’m not squeamish!

On top of that, there’s Titus’s heritage as an American Romany Gypsy. They’re still out there, living in closed societies similar to the Amish, but without the religion. They’re not really at all like those in the reality TV shows from a few years back. I did a lot of reading of both anthropological studies and personal memoirs to develop Titus’s perspective, and that of his grandmother, Hester.

4) Besides writing what else do you enjoy doing?

My alter-ego is a graphic designer, and doing that work is both work and play for me. I love it, especially designing covers. I also draw an m/m webcomic (icarusrising.smackjeeves.com) for fun to clear my mind when I get stuck. Beyond that, I just love hanging out with my family or reading.

5) You have a private yacht or jet at your disposal – which would you use, where would you go and who would you take with you?

Definitely yacht. I grew up on boats but flying is nothing more than a necessary evil for me. I get anxiety and claustrophobia on a plane. I’d pile my family on that yacht and sail to Tahiti. (I have no idea if you can sail straight to Tahiti from the east coast. I can’t geography…) I’ve always wanted to go to Bora Bora.

Thank you, JK Hogan for answering our questions!!!

About the author:

J.K. Hogan has been telling stories for as long as she can remember, beginning with writing cast lists and storylines for her toys growing up. When she finally decided to put pen to paper, magic happened. She is greatly inspired by all kinds of music and often creates a “soundtrack” for her stories as she writes them. J.K. is hoping to one day have a little something for everyone, so she’s branched out from m/f paranormal romance and added m/m contemporary romance. Who knows what’s next?

J.K. resides in North Carolina, where she was born and raised. A true southern girl at heart, she lives in the country with her husband and young son, a cat, and two champion agility dogs. If she isn’t on the agility field, J.K. can often be found chasing waterfalls in the mountains with her husband, or down in front at a blues concert. In addition to writing, she enjoys training and competing in dog sports, spending time with her large southern family, camping, boating and, of course, reading! For more information, please visit

Where to find the author:

Publisher: Wilde City Press
Cover Artist: J.K. Hogan

Tour Dates & Stops:




















Rafflecopter Prize: E-Copy of Shadows Fall by JK Hogan

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